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Mississippi Blues Half Marathon - RunHalf Marathon

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Jackson, Mississippi
United States
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of MS
65F / 18C
Total Time = 1h 55m 5s
Overall Rank = 222/1184
Age Group = 45-49
Age Group Rank = 9/76
Pre-race routine:

Treated myself to sushi the night before (best pre-race meal for me) and tried to get to bed early for 4:30a wake-up call. Stretched, did some activation drills, walked the pup, and headed to the race site.
Event warmup:

Very slow 8-minute jog around the surrounding blocks.
  • 1h 55m 5s
  • 13.1 miles
  • 08m 47s  min/mile

I went into this race not expecting much. I figured I could run well, but I know the course is tough, so hoped for around 2 hours. Since it's mostly a downhill start, I did resolve to not let myself lollygag and lined up with the marathon 4-hour pace guy, figuring a 9+ min/mile would be a good initial pace. I probably should have moved up, though. It was a bit rough to keep up while dodging all of the folks who were going decidedly slower than 9 min/mile. I passed up the first water stop and found myself in front of the pace group and decided to just keep moving since the coast was now clear.

Around 3 miles in (almost all downhill at this point), the half marathoners hang a left and separate from the full people. No more pace groups to hang out with. I did not wear my Garmin, so I was running purely by feel and the quick, fractured math I could do in my head as we passed the mile markers. It appeared that I was somewhere around an 8:40ish pace at that point. A stop at the porta-potty, though, pushed me back up to 9+ average, and I hit the first 5 miles somewhere around 45-46 minutes (I missed the mile marker, so hit my lap button a bit late).

This is where the hills started. The first was a long gradual climb alongside the freeway to reach the ramp/overpass. Then, we turned into a neighborhood and it was a lot of up and down (felt like mostly up). The hills were pretty steep and, although not "long," definitely not short, either. I was focused on running this second 5 miles a little faster, but wasn't sure I would actually accomplish that as I felt slower on the uphills. I just reminded myself to run tall and lightly. When my watched showed 42 minutes and change for miles 5 to 10, I was surprised and really pleased. If I could run a 25-minute 5k, I would be around 1:53 and not far off my recent PB in October on a much easier, faster course.

Alas, it wasn't to be. The course leveled out through here, but just like the marathon last year, it didn't matter because my legs were toast. The last, long climb up Capitol St to the finish line was really tough, and it was all I could do to maintain my pace. The 26+ minutes that last 5k took were the hardest of the race, but I was glad that I didn't really slow down in the end, just maintained.

Overall, though, to finish on that hilly course, 1-month after a marathon, with minimal running in that month, and within 3 minutes of my time in October, felt like a positive achievement.
What would you do differently?:

Line up a little closer to the front and try to get a faster start. My first 5 miles really should have been under 45 minutes, rather than over.
Post race
Warm down:

Nothing really. I got some food, grabbed my jacket, and went back to watch friends finish. Then, hung out with said friends drinking a couple of beers before heading home to walk the dog again.

What limited your ability to perform faster:

Not actually training for the race; however, I had no intention of training for the race, so it is a moot point.

Event comments:

I love, love, love the MS Blues Marathon/Half Marathon. The course is great, the people are great, the music is great, the food is good. Pre and post race include tons of bands and then there's a pub crawl that night. If anyone is looking for a winter marathon or half, somewhere different, I can't recommend this race more highly.

Last updated: 2011-12-13 12:00 AM
01:55:05 | 13.1 miles | 08m 47s  min/mile
Age Group: 9/76
Overall: 222/1184
Performance: Good
First 5 miles in ~46 minutes (included porta-potty stop). Second 5 miles ~42+ minutes. Comfortably cruising, but hills are hard. Final 5k in ~26+ minutes. Could not pick up the pace; all I could do to maintain.
Course: Tour of Jackson downtown and surrounding neighborhoods. First few miles mostly downhill, but from about mile 5 to 10, it is a brutal up and down with steep, longish hills. Levels out, but then long, gradual climb in last mile to finish.
Keeping cool Good Drinking Just right
Post race
Weight change: %
Overall: Good
Mental exertion [1-5] 4
Physical exertion [1-5] 5
Good race? Yes
Course challenge Just right
Organized? Yes
Events on-time? Yes
Lots of volunteers? Yes
Plenty of drinks? Yes
Post race activities: Good
Race evaluation [1-5] 5

2012-01-11 9:47 AM

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Madison, MS
Subject: Mississippi Blues Half Marathon

2012-01-11 3:49 PM
in reply to: #3983798

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Subject: RE: Mississippi Blues Half Marathon
Great job Karen, especially for not training. 
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